Sounds in Slower Motion

Sounds in Slower Motion is the second collection of sound pieces I created by using audio cassettes and tape players, the first being Sounds on TapeSounds in Slower Motion involved recording and manipulating sounds at two stages. The first series of manipulations took place while recording the sound material on a tape recorder that records at about three times the speed as a normal tape deck’s playback. The second stage is then playing these recordings on the separate tape deck and manipulating sounds that have already been slowed down to about a third of their original speed.

“New York, New York” uses a six-minute field recording of a New York park, provided to me by my friend, Tanner Howard. These sounds were played through a synthesizer and eventually into the tape recorder. During playback, the synthesizer was again incorporated, though the cassette’s sound was run into an independent channel on a mixer; it did not have to pass through the synthesizer, so the synthesizer played on top of it instead.

“Mandolin” samples a recording of Herman Feht, my great-grandfather, playing various mandolin solos sometime during what I believe is the late 70s in San Francisco. This recording was particularly striking because his voice interjects after the final solo, saying: “You know, I just realized, that I must be stage struck, or I’ve got stage fright. I’ve been playing those pieces here, by myself, never miss a note. Then as soon as I turn this thing on, boom, I miss every other note. Ha ha, good day!” After stopping the sampled tape once finishing the first manipulation, I didn’t realize until having finished the second that the tape was stopped precisely at this point. Fittingly, the last sample in “Mandolin” is this sign-off from Herman Feht.


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